Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter I. Definitions and Findings; Procurement.


§ 34–1311.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) Repealed.

(2) Repealed.

(3) Repealed.

(4) Repealed.

(4A) "Certified business enterprise" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 2-218.02(1D).

(4B) "Certified joint venture" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 2-218.02(1E).

(5) “Chief Financial Officer” means the Chief Financial Officer of the District of Columbia.

(6) Repealed.

(7) “Commission” means the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia as it may be constituted from time to time and any successor agency exercising the same or similar functions.

(8) Repealed.

(8A) “Distribution service customer class cost allocations” means the allocation of the electric company’s revenue requirement to each customer rate class on the basis of the total rate class distribution service revenue minus the customer charge revenue.

(9) “DDOT” means the District Department of Transportation.

(10) “DDOT Underground Electric Company Infrastructure Improvements” means underground conduits, duct banks electrical vaults, manholes, transformer pads, and similar facilities for the distribution of electricity within the District, including facilities ancillary to the foregoing, designed by the electric company, constructed or to be constructed by DDOT, and transferred to, owned, and maintained by the electric company after certain inspections and approvals by the electric company for the exclusive use of the electric company in the distribution of electricity within the District.

(11) “DDOT Underground Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Activity” means the civil engineering for and the construction and installation of DDOT Underground Electric Company Infrastructure Improvements.

(12) “DDOT Underground Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Annual Revenue Requirement” means that amount of revenue required by the District to pay the DDOT Underground Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Costs for the applicable year.

(13) "DDOT Underground Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Charge" means a charge imposed by the District on the electric company pursuant to a financing order issued by the Commission, which charge shall be used by the District to pay the DDOT Underground Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Costs.

(14) “DDOT Underground Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Costs” means any cost incurred by DDOT, including capitalized costs relating to an underground electric plant, capitalized costs associated with design and engineering work, expenses that DDOT incurs for the development of annual construction plans, contingency for the cost to complete and place in service the electric plant to be installed in the applicable biennial Underground Infrastructure Improvement Projects Plan, and other expenses incurred or expected to be incurred by or for the account of DDOT in undertaking DDOT Underground Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Activity, including preliminary expenses and investments and other costs that reasonably may be incurred in support of the DDOT Underground Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Activity.

(14A) "DDOT Underground Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Fund" means the fund established by § 34-1313.03a.

(15) Repealed.

(16) Repealed.

(17) Repealed.

(18) “Electric company” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 34-207 and as used in this chapter shall mean the Potomac Electric Power Company, and its permitted successors and assigns.

(19) “Electric Company Infrastructure Improvements” means underground electrical cable, fuses, switches, transformers, and ancillary facilities, including above-ground pad-mounted transformers, and other equipment, constructed or to be constructed by the electric company, that may include underground conduit and duct banks for the distribution of electricity within the District, electrical vaults, manholes, transformers and transformer pads, and other ancillary electric distribution infrastructure to be procured, constructed, or installed by the electric company and not included in DDOT Underground Electric Company Infrastructure Improvements (except as otherwise approved by the Commission), that is included in a biennial Underground Infrastructure Improvement Projects Plan approved by the Commission, and that is required in conjunction with constructing and operating new underground facilities to be used for the distribution of electricity, but does not include the construction of a new underground electric plant when the costs associated with the construction and operation of such an underground electric plant, including capital costs, are to be recovered through rates, as approved by the Commission pursuant to § 34-901 and not through the DDOT Underground Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Charges or Underground Project Charges.

(20) “Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Activity” means the civil and electrical engineering for, and acquisition, construction and installation of, Electric Company Infrastructure Improvements and the removal of overhead electric distribution facilities no longer used, or useful, in providing electric distribution service in the District due to the construction of Electric Company Infrastructure Improvements.

(21) “Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Costs” means any costs incurred by the electric company, including the amortization of regulatory assets and capitalized costs relating to electric plant including depreciation expense and design and engineering work incurred, or expected to be incurred, by the electric company in undertaking Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Activity, and contingency for the cost to complete and place in service the electric plant to be installed in the applicable biennial Underground Infrastructure Improvement Projects Plan, and the unrecovered value of electric company property that is retired, together with any demolition cost or similar cost that exceeds the salvage value of the property. The term includes preliminary expenses and investments associated with Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Activity that are incurred by the electric company prior to receipt of an order applicable to costs incurred with respect to the Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Activity in addition to expenses that may be incurred for development of annual construction plans, customer communication, and other expenses that may develop in support of the Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Activity.

(22) “Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Revenue” means the aggregation of receipts, collections, payments, moneys, claims, and other proceeds derived from Underground Project Charges.

(23) “Electric plant” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 34-206.

(24) "Financial advisor" means an entity whose services were retained by the Commission on July 31, 2014, as may be extended by the Commission from time to time, and any successor or replacement of the entity, to assist the Commission in the issuance, amendment, or administration of a financing order.

(25) Repealed.

(26) Repealed.

(27) “Financing order” means an order of the Commission pursuant to this chapter that grants, in whole or in part, an application filed pursuant to this chapter by the electric company and that, among its other provisions, authorizes the imposition of DDOT Underground Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Charges and the imposition and periodic true-up of the Underground Rider.

(28) “Gas company” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 34-209 and as used in this chapter shall mean the Washington Gas Light Company, and any successor thereto.

(29) “Gas plant” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 34-210.

(30) “Home Rule Act” means Chapter 2 of Title 1 [§ 1-201.01 et seq.].

(31) Repealed.

(32) “Lateral feeder” means a 1-kV to 35-kV (phase-to-phase) line tapped off of a distribution mainline primary feeder for supplying loads, which may be protected by a fuse at the interconnection point to the mainline primary feeder, and may have one phase, 2 phases, or 3 phases.

(33) “Mainline primary feeder” means a 1-kV to 35-kV (phase-to-phase) distribution line originating at the substation distribution bus that supplies lateral feeders and distribution transformers that convert voltage to customer service levels, which are normally 3-phase circuits.

(33A) "Majority interest" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 2-218.39a(b)(1).

(34) “Mayor” means the Mayor of the District of Columbia or an Authorized Delegate.

(35) Repealed.

(36) “OPC” means the Office of the People’s Counsel for the District of Columbia and any successor thereto.

(37) “Public Utilities Commission Act” means Subtitle I of Title 34 [§ 34-101 et seq.].

(38) “Secondary feeder” means the portion of an electric distribution circuit originating at the low-voltage secondary winding of a distribution transformer and transmitting power at customer service voltage levels to interconnect with a customer service drop line, which has voltages less than 1000 V, often 480/277 V, 208/120 V, or 120/240 V and can be single phase or 3 phase.

(39) Repealed.

(40) Repealed.

(41) “Underground Infrastructure Improvement Projects Plan” means a construction plan prepared by DDOT and the electric company that identifies DDOT Underground Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Activity and the Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Activity planned to be undertaken in a 2-year period, which may be amended from time to time with the approval of the Commission.

(42) “Underground Project Charge” means an annually adjusted surcharge paid by all distribution service customers of the electric company (except for customers served under the electric company's residential aid discount or a succeeding discount program) for its recovery of the Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Costs, together with the electric company’s rate of return as approved by the Commission.

(42A) "Underground Rider" means an annually adjusted rider to the electric company's volumetric distribution service rates paid by all distribution service customers of the electric company (except for customers served under the electric company's residential aid discount or a succeeding discount program) for its recovery of an amount equal to the aggregate of the DDOT Underground Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Charges.

(43) Repealed.


(May 3, 2014, D.C. Law 20-102, § 101, 61 DCR 1882; Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 2102, 62 DCR 10905; July 11, 2017, D.C. Law 22-5, § 2(a), 64 DCR 4943; Sept. 11, 2019, D.C. Law 23-20, § 2(b), 66 DCR 9724; Mar. 16, 2021, D.C. Law 23-244, § 2(a), 68 DCR 00113.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-36 added (8A).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Financing Emergency Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-56, May 17, 2017, 64 DCR 4909).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2102 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of Power Line Undergrounding Program Certified Business Enterprise Utilization Temporary Act of 2019 (D.C. Law 22-306, Apr. 11, 2019, 66 DCR 2048).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-36: Section 2103 of D.C. Law 21-36 provided that section 2102 of the act shall apply as of May 3, 2014.


§ 34–1311.02. Findings.

The Council finds that:

(1) Global climate change has increased the frequency and severity of destructive weather patterns. Accordingly, electric power distribution service in the District of Columbia is vulnerable to equipment failures on the overhead electric distribution system of the electric company for many reasons, including high winds, flooding, lightning strikes, snow and ice accumulations, foreign contact between overhead equipment and animals, trees, and other objects, and other causes. In the past, this damage has caused the loss of electric power over extended time periods to residential and commercial customers; which damage and power loss have created economic losses for the District and its citizens, including critical infrastructure customers and other high-priority users of electricity, and has otherwise adversely affected the general welfare of the public. It can be expected that similar outages on the electric company’s overhead distribution system will continue to occur absent taking additional intensified outage-prevention measures.

(2) Electric system modernization is necessary to establish 21st century electric distribution systems to promote the public interest through increased system reliability, resiliency, and flexibility during all types of weather events, including major storms. The frequency of electric power outages within the District can be expected to decrease when overhead power lines in vulnerable locations are relocated underground. Consequently, selectively undergrounding certain overhead power lines can be expected to increase system reliability and reduce the economic, social, and other impacts caused by repeated power outages on the District's residents, businesses, workers, and visitors.

(3) Repealed.

(4) Repealed.

(5) Electric system modernization will require an unprecedented investment in the electric distribution infrastructure in the District.

(6) A special financing structure to support this unprecedented improvement to the electricity distribution infrastructure requires a specific legislative framework, and this legislation establishes that framework. The additional charges authorized by this legislation will be used solely to finance the construction and implementation of improvements to the distribution system to increase system reliability.

(7) The Council finds that the Mayor and the electrical company should make every practical effort to ensure that District residents are hired for newly created jobs funded by any mechanism wherein the costs of such funding are paid by the District from the DDOT Underground Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Charge or recovered by the electric company through the Underground Project Charge, with a goal being that at least 100% of all related jobs are filled by District residents and 100% of the construction contracts are awarded to certified business enterprises or certified joint ventures in which a certified business enterprise holds a majority interest, where qualified to perform such work. Moreover, the Mayor and the electric company should make every practical effort to increase the use of District apprentices when executing contractor and subcontractor agreements to implement electric system modernization.

(8) By December 31, 2015, and by each December 31st thereafter until the completion of the work contemplated by this chapter, the Mayor and the electric company shall issue written reports to the Council that describe and evaluate their respective efforts in meeting the stated goals of this chapter, where applicable, to identify, hire, and train District residents, where qualified to perform such work, and to award construction contracts to District businesses.

(9) The Mayor and the electric company will be expected to make every practical effort to achieve these goals through contracting and hiring procedures that award additional preference points to qualified businesses and labor resources that advance the goals of this legislation.


(May 3, 2014, D.C. Law 20-102, § 102, 61 DCR 1882; July 11, 2017, D.C. Law 22-5, § 2(b), 64 DCR 4943; Sept. 11, 2019, D.C. Law 23-20, § 2(c), 66 DCR 9724; Mar. 16, 2021, D.C. Law 23-244, § 2(b), 68 DCR 00113.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) creation of § 34-1311.03, see § 2(c) of Power Line Undergrounding Program Certified Business Enterprise Utilization Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-606, Jan. 24, 2019, 66 DCR 1591).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of Power Line Undergrounding Program Certified Business Enterprise Utilization Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-606, Jan. 24, 2019, 66 DCR 1591).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of Electric Company Infrastructure Improvement Financing Emergency Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-56, May 17, 2017, 64 DCR 4909).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) addition of § 34-1311.03, see § 2(d) of Power Line Undergrounding Program Certified Business Enterprise Utilization Temporary Act of 2019 (D.C. Law 22-306, Apr. 11, 2019, 66 DCR 2048).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(c) of Power Line Undergrounding Program Certified Business Enterprise Utilization Temporary Act of 2019 (D.C. Law 22-306, Apr. 11, 2019, 66 DCR 2048).


§ 34–1311.03. Procurements.

Section 2-356.04 shall apply to procurements for architectural and engineering services, as that term is defined in § 2-351.04(3), to carry out the purposes of this chapter, however, the District may:

(1) Set aside contracts for such services for certified business enterprises and certified joint ventures in which a certified business enterprise holds a majority interest; or

(2) Award preferences to certified business enterprises as provided in § 2-218.43 as part of the evaluation of statements of qualifications submitted in response to a request for qualifications.


(May 3, 2014, D.C. Law 20-102, § 103; as added Sept. 11, 2019, D.C. Law 23-20, § 2(d), 66 DCR 9724; Mar. 16, 2021, D.C. Law 23-244, § 2(c), 68 DCR 00113.)